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Nomadland: the film that triumphed at the Golden Globes

The production, directed by Chloé Zhao, was one of the great revelations of the Golden Globes and points towards the Oscars .

Frame from the film 'Nomaland'

The film won the award for Best Dramatic Film and Best Direction. Photo: YT-SearchlightPictures

LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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Leer en español: Nomadland: la película que triunfó en los Globos de Oro

This year's Golden Globes brought us many great film productions in a year where the industry was paralyzed by COVID-19. One of them was Nomadland, the film that won the award for Best Dramatic Film and Best Direction , recognition that corresponds to its author, Chloé Zhao .

This movie made history at this year ceremony. According to what eCartelera reveals, this 78th edition was the second time in history that a woman won the Best Director award, after Barbra Streisand in 1984 for her work at Yentl. In addition, there have been no female nominees for this position since 2015, when Ava DuVernay tried to get the trophy for her film Selma.

It was also historic becuase Zhao was the first Asian woman to win this award , which is why it is already speculated that she could have similar success at this year's Oscars. Mainly, due to the fact that his film managed to captivate critics and the general public with an interesting and well-narrated premise from the audiovisual point of view.

The keys to Nomadland's success

Nomadland is about the life of Fern (Frances McDormand), a woman who became widowed and lost her home. Due to the recession, she decides to move to the western part of the United States, adopting a lifestyle that moves away from the routine in the city, something that can be seen in several shots of the van.

From the outset, it becomes clear to us that we are watching a western-dramatic film that explores the desire to "abandon everything" and get away from the world and sedentary life. That is one of its main successes, since it manages to visually represent that feeling of traveling that we all have had at some time .

Another of the main key elements of this film is that, contrary to what one might think, the adaptation process is not easy at all. On the contrary: instability is one of the keys to this story . Fern wanders from one place to another, changing jobs and with no long-term goals. In reality, the only thing that interests her is living day to day, since she has nothing else to do.

Perhaps for this reason, the film is presented with a cold tonality that demonstrates the feeling of emptiness experienced by the main character. Precisely, the mystery of being taking the right path will be present in the almost two hours of footage . We ourselves, as spectators, will take emotional part on her decision: did she do the right thing or should she have taken another course?

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Nomadland manages to condense all that atmosphere of uncertainty and invites us to reflex. Although we may not be going through a situation as crucial as Fern, there will always be empathy for her melancholy or her desire to take a different course for her future since feelings are represented very well, thanks to the impressive work of the actress.

At the same time, photography is amazing, especially in open spaces, where the nostalgia for the better past and fear towards a future that cannot be known is reflected. If we combine it with the great soundtrack of Ludovico Einaudi, the result is that: at certain moments, image and sound complement each other perfectly and the result is exciting.

Social criticism is also present in this work, since it takes up an image of an America that tried to have an equitable social project, although it ended up failing . In other words, the idea of the "American dream", of constant progress, did not encompass all people, but there are some who were outside the system.

In short, as mentioned by A Sala Llena, the key to this production lies in the idea of “not having anywhere to go”. Will the movie and the director also get the Oscar? At the moment, they have good merits to obtain both.